Online Program

Peer victimization and Disordered Eating Behaviors—the Role of Intersecting Identities among New York City Youth

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Kriti Thapa, MPH, School of Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine, Rochester, NY
Elizabeth A. Kelvin, PhD, MPH, Epidemiology & Biostatistics Program, School of Urban Public Health at Hunter College, The Graduate Center, & CUNY School of Public Health, City University of New York, New York, NY

A growing literature suggests an intersection of different minority identities may result in greater risk of mental health related outcomes. We investigated the intersection of sexual minority, gender, and Hispanic identities and their interaction with peer victimization in predicting disordered eating behaviors among New York City (NYC) youth.


We used the 2011 NYC Youth Risk Behavior Survey data and conducted logistic regression to examine the associations overall and interaction among sexual identity, gender, ethnicity, and three forms of peer victimization (dating violence, bullying on school property, electronic bullying) in predicting disordered eating behavior, adjusting for the complex sampling and population weights.


Sexual minority youths had 2.0 times higher odds of disordered eating (P<0.001), dating violence victims had 3.3 times higher odds of disordered eating behavior (P<0.001), and those who were bullied on school property had 1.7 times higher odds of disordered eating (P<0.001).  The three-way interaction among: i) dating violence, gender, and sexual identity, and ii) electronic bullying, gender, and sexual identity were statistically significant. The association between dating violence and disordered eating behavior ranged from OR=4.9 P<0.001) among male sexual minority youths to OR=1.98 (P=0.020) among female sexual minority youths. The association between electronic bullying and disordered eating behavior ranged from OR=2.9 (P<0.001) among male non-sexual minority youths (OR=2.9, P<0.001) to OR=1.49 (P=0.125) among female non-sexual minority youths.


Interventions targeting disordered eating behaviors among youths should consider an intersectional approach that considers gender and sexual identities.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the prevalence of disordered eating behavior among New York City (NYC) youth of different intersecting identities Evaluate the intersection of sexual minority, gender, and Hispanic ethnic identities in interacting with experiences of peer victimization to predict disordered eating behaviors among NYC youth

Keyword(s): Child/Adolescent Mental Health, Sexuality

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Elizabeth Kelvin is an Assistant Professor in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the CUNY School of Public Health. She has co-authored over 35 articles in peer review journals, taught epidemiologic methods courses at introductory to advanced levels and co-edited an introductory biostatistics text book.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.